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Posted on: February 8, 2011 12:11 pm

My current top three for POY

I just submitted my top three National Player of the Year candidates for the straw poll.

Here's what I sent Mike Rothstein:
  1. Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
  2. Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
  3. Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
The results of the straw poll will be announced later this week.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: January 22, 2011 7:37 pm

I'm in Illinois for OSU-Illini

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- I'm at Illinois for today's game against Ohio State. It's the first of three games over the next five days during which I'll see all three remaining unbeatens in person in road games against formidable opponents.

My schedule looks like this:
  • No. 1 Ohio State (19-0) at No. 23 Illinois (14-5) on Saturday
  • No. 2 Kansas (18-0) at Colorado (14-5) on Tuesday
  • No. 6 San Diego State (20-0) at No. 9 BYU (18-1) on Wednesday
Ohio State is supposed to win 70-67 this afternoon, Kansas is supposed to win 83-71 on Tuesday and BYU is supposed to win 74-69 on Wednesday, according to That means that site has the unbeatens going 2-1, which means, statistically speaking, I'm probably going to see at least one court-storming during my trip. Maybe more. Either way, should be fun. And with that, I'm heading over to Assembly Hall.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 1:52 am

Fredette takes and makes 30-foot jumper

Jimmer Fredette got 21 points in BYU's win over TCU late Tuesday.

Nothing special.

Just 21.

But three of those 21 came on a ridiculous 30-foot jumper, and, just so we're clear, the shot wasn't at the end of a half or as the shot clock was about to expire. In other words, it wasn't forced by circumstances. Fredette simply looked up, saw he had a clean look and pulled because, well, I'll let him tell you why. "I take pride in being able to shoot from anywhere," Fredette said. "If they're not going to guard me, I'm going to take that shot."

Fair enough, Jimmer.

Fair enough.

(Click this link to watch the shot on YouTube.)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 12, 2011 11:38 am

UConn's Walker POY leader, according to poll's Mike Rothstein is conducting a National Player of the Year straw poll for the third straight season.

Fifty-five writers submitted ballots with their top three choices.

My ballot looked like this:
  1. Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
  2. Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
  3. Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
That's also how the top three of the straw poll look.

Click this link to check it out.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2010 2:48 pm

Jimmer Fredette knows how to stop Jimmer Fredette

I spent some time on the phone with Jimmer Fredette this week in advance of my column on the best of the non-BCS schools. The BYU guard was thoughtful and funny, confident yet humble. And though I didn't use it in the column, my favorite part of our conversation came when I asked the BYU guard what type of defense frustrates him most.

Fredette's response?

"I don't know; I've seen so many different defenses," he said. "But I think one of the most effective things is to double-team me and get the ball out of my hands."

So there you have it, Mountain West Conference coaches. The best way to keep Fredette from hanging 40 on you is to -- seriously, write this down -- double-team him and get the ball out of his hands. (It's always the obvious things that get overlooked, right?) "But the problem with that is that we've got a good team," Fredette continued. "So that's going to leave someone open, and they're going to be able to execute, knock down shots and make plays for themselves."

Let the record show I'd take my chances. If I'm coaching, I'm absolutely trying the get-the-ball-out-of-Jimmer's-hands approach. Five bucks says Sean Miller (Fredette put 49 on Arizona last season), Jim Christian (Fredette put 45 on TCU last season) and Billy Donovan (Fredette put 37 on Florida last year) agree.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:19 pm

Will BYU force other WCC schools to invest?

I have a column about BYU's decision to play men's basketball in the West Coast Conference that'll be posted a little later on today, but the column focuses less on BYU than it does on what BYU's move will mean for Gonzaga. The gist of the column is about how Mark Few couldn't be more excited, not only because of how it will bring another high-profile program into the league, but also because of what it could mean for the rest of the WCC.

It's no secret that one of the reasons Gonzaga has dominated the WCC is because no other conference school is committed to basketball the way Gonzaga is committed to basketball, and the addition of BYU will only widen that gap. What Few hopes is that opposing administrations recognize this reality, and that they start investing appropriately out of fear of falling further behind.

"In the past people [in the WCC] would go to their administrations and ask for things, and they'd hear 'That's not how we do things in this league. It's just how Gonzaga does things,'" Few said. "But now it's like, 'Well no, it's not. It's how Gonzaga and BYU do things. So you've got to step it up.'"

Whether other WCC members actually step it up remains to be seen

But if they don't, this much is clear: They won't be playing for second anymore.

They'll instead be playing annually for third, at best.
Posted on: June 18, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2010 3:30 pm

Will Utah-BYU series survive?

Utah's move to the Pac-10 means Utah and BYU will no longer be in the same conference.

It could also end the basketball series between the two rivals.

"It'll be interesting to see if we play them now," Utah coach Jim Boylen told by phone, at which point I asked if he wants to continue the series by playing every season and alternating courts.

"I love the rivalry," Boylen answered. "I also think it's always the most soldout game. So financially, for both us, it's pretty good. ... But I don't know. I don't make those decisions."

The truth is that if Utah (Pac-10) pulled out of its series with BYU (MWC) the Utes would likely be criticized the same way Washington (Pac-10) was criticized for pulling out of its series with Gonzaga (WCC). Nobody likes it when an in-state power in a "power" league refuses to play an in-state power in a league outside of the BCS; it's viewed as a sign of arrogance. And, beyond that, the Utes don't need to give BYU the opportunity to tell recruits "they're scared to play us," which is why my guess is that Utah will continue the in-state series and play the Cougars home-and-home, at least once a season.

That's the other thing people forget, by the way.

There's nothing that states non-league schools can't play twice in a season.

It almost never happens, I know.

But it could if Utah and BYU wanted it to happen.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 29, 2010 6:18 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2010 6:24 pm

Loyd transferring out of BYU

Michael Loyd Jr. is transferring from BYU and will complete college elsewhere, the school announced Thursday.

“Michael and I have met several times and we have mutually decided he will continue his education and basketball career in another program,” BYU coach Dave Rose said in a released statement. “He has been a significant part of our success the last three seasons and we are grateful for his many contributions. As a staff we wish him the best and will do all we can to help Michael find a great situation.”

Loyd scored 26 points in BYU's win over Florida in the NCAA tournament.

He has two more years of eligibility.
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or